A Capitol building is where a state's government meets.
The Virginia State Capitol is full of history and symbols and is over 200 years old!
In 1779, the Virginia General Assembly voted to move the capital from Williamsburg to Richmond. Until the Capitol could be built, the legislature met in two wood-framed buildings at the corner of what is now 14th Street and Cary Street.
The Virginia State Capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. Thomas Jefferson modeled the Capitol after the Maison Carée, an ancient Roman temple in Nîmes, France.
On May 3, 2012, a bronze statue called Thomas Jefferson, Architect of Liberty was placed in the Virginia State Capitol. It shows Mr. Jefferson at approximately age 42 when he designed the Virginia State Capitol. Mr. Jefferson is holding an architectural drawing of the Capitol.
Many people work in the Capitol too. Staff helps to keep the legislative branch of government running. Capitol Police Officers help keep people and buildings safe. Capitol Tour Guides show visitors from all over the world the State Capitol.
In the Rotunda, you will see a statue of George Washington. Jean-Antoine Houdon was the sculptor (maker of the statue). He visited George Washington at Mount Vernon and took measurements so the statue would look just like him.
Do you think it looks like George Washington?
To learn more about the Rotunda and the George Washington (Houdon) statue visit http://virginiacapitol.gov/virtualtours/2nd_floor.html and click on Rotunda (1st image).
The General Assembly is the legislative branch of Virginia government that makes state laws. The General Assembly consists of the Senate and the House of Delegates.
There are 40 Senators who are elected every four years and each represent 200,000 people. The Lieutenant Governor is the President and presiding officer.
There are 100 Delegates who are elected every two years and each represent 80,000 people. The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer.
To learn more about each body of the General Assembly be sure to visit http://virginiacapitol.gov/virtualtours/2nd_floor.html and click on the Senate Chamber (6th image) and the House Chamber (5th image).